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Neutrality and Its Discontents: An Essay on the Ethics of Librarianship

This essay analyzes the debate about neutrality in the library literature and identifies a fundamental moral dilemma that generates debate. It then advances an argument in favor of library neutrality based on Wayne Bivens-Tatum’s intellectual history of library values in Libraries and the Enlightenment and the ideal of liberal neutrality developed by such political philosophers as Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, and Martha Nussbaum. In conclusion, the essay responds to potential objections to its pro-neutrality thesis by liberal and radical authors.

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